Thursday, August 23, 2012

How to read blogs on your kindle: free and otherwise

As the world of eReaders (including kindle apps on multiple platforms) continues to expand, and many folks doing more and more of their reading on reading devices/tablets, I decided to explore ways to read the blogs I follow on my Kindle.

It turns out there are several ways to do this; some free, some subscription (fee) based, some simple, some requiring some technical knowledge.

So here are the results of my investigation:

1. Paid subscriptions (cost, easy, limited to e-ink kindles):
The Kindle store sells subscriptions to uploaded blogs for a monthly fee. Amazon sets the price ("Unfortunately, you would not be able to sell your blogs for free. Amazon will define the price based on what we deem is a fair value for customers.") between 0.99 and 1.99  per month, of which the blogger will earn 30%, . I've just experimented with adding both this blog and my story blog for DERELICT to the blog store at Amazon. This is the simplest way to archive blog content for offline reading on any of the kindle e-Ink devices. 


2. Subscribe using calibre to your kindle. (free*, moderately difficult, any kindle or app):
This method requires a free, open source ebook management system called Calibre.  There are step by step directions on how to 'fetch' a blog via its RSS feed to Calibre with images here.
A guide to setting up Calibre to email the converted feed in ebook form to your kindle is here. 
NOTE--this is a 2-step process.

3. Subscribe to blogs using KindleFeeder (free* and paid options, easy, any kindle or app):
There is a subscription/conversion service called KindleFeeder.  If you subscribe to less than 12 RSS feeds, it will deliver them to your kindle device/app for free. More than 12, and there is a paid service you can use. They have step by step directions on how to subscribe to a feed.
The MAIN problem with KindeFeeder, is that for the free version, there is no way to get an automatic delivery for new blog content.  You need to manually push your content over to your kindle via the 'queue new delivery' button on the main page. (Which means you will need to visit the KindleFeeder page each week to get the updated content.)
If you regularly read many feeds and want to have them delivered to your kindle automatically, then it may be worth your while to purchase a yearly subscription to KindleFeeder. $20/year gets you up to 70 feeds automatically pushed to your kindle with the ability to schedule your delivery. (I have no connection to kindlefeeder, am just considering the options.)
 **According to their website, they've just migrated to a new server and seem to be having trouble delivering content to the Kindle. I could not get it to work.

***HUZZAH! As of Aug 25th, this now works!! So if you want to follow DERELICT (or any other blog) on your kindle via RSS feed for free, sign up for KindleFeeder! ***
 4. Subscribe using a combination of Instapaper and IFTTT (Free*, minimally complex, with limitations, any kindle or app)

  • Sign up (free) with Instapaper
  • Under "Account" follow the directions after clicking "manage my kindle settings"
  • Sign up (free) with IFTTT ("If this then that"--a way to link services with custom recipes--pretty cool!)
  • Enable this recipe to push new blog posts to your Instapaper list
The main problem with Instapaper is that it only sends the NEW posts written AFTER you have set up your account. It also doesn't seem to send new posts from a subscribed RSS feed on its own, hence the addition of the IFTTT 'recipe'.

If you want all the previous chapters of DERELICT as a single kindle friendly file, email me (lisa at ljcohen dot net) and I'll be happy to send it to you.
Instapaper also has a paid subscription ($12.year) for higher send to kindle limits, faster updates)

5. (8/15/13) A commenter added this:
CURRENTLY, the best way to get all your custom and preset blog/RSS feeds automatically is to integrate Feedly.com with your @kindle account through IFTTT. Here is your recipe; https://ifttt.com/recipes/111316
You can find feedly here.  I'm not familiar with it, but I suspect it works like google reader (may it rest in peace!) used to.

*This will be free on any content delivered via wifi. Amazon charges a small fee for content delivered over its whispernet.

I'll keep updating this information as I find additional resources.

NOTE: For any of the methods that use the kindle personal document delivery system, you can go to your manage my kindle page and download the content to ANY of your linked kindle devices! 

4 comments:

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  2. Thank you buddy, and I'd be really honoured to update those information with following;

    CURRENTLY, the best way to get all your custom and preset blog/RSS feeds automatically is to integrate Feedly.com with your @kindle account through IFTTT. Here is your recipe; https://ifttt.com/recipes/111316

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    Replies
    1. Many thanks! I've updated the post with your recipe.

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    2. No longer working....

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